bike tours are the best way to discover a city!
I know I am biased but if you have ever taken a bike tour, I am sure that you will agree with me.
Pretty much every tourist destination these days is a Cycle City! There will always be at least one company offering guided bike tours and rentals wherever you may travel. But did you know that many of the BEST bike tour companies form part of an association called Cycle Cities?
What is Cycle Cities?
Cycle Cities is a Business to Business Knowledge Sharing Community for Bike Tour Operators from all over Europe. As well as on-line forums, chats and weekly newsletters, we all meet up once a year in a different Cycle Cities partner town or city for the annual Symposium. It may be a business meeting, but it is more like a reunion of old friends who work in the same sector and just love what they do.
I have been lucky enough to have attended Symposium in several cities already. It is such a unique opportunity to learn from others in the trade and, of course, to experience how the best bike companies in Europe organise their bike tours.
So wherever you are planning to go on your next trip, be sure to check the Cycle Cities web page for the local bike tour operator. And remember, for the best price and the best service, always book direct!
In this blog, I will highlight several of the cities I have visited for the Cycle Cities Symposium. Obviously, while attending the Symposium, we always enjoy discovering those Cycle Cities on a bike tour. And naturally, we all agree that bike tours are the absolute best way to get to know a city.
cycle cities in europe: munich
Radius Tours, run by mother and son dynamic duo Gaby and Daniel, is THE place to book your Cycle Cities bike tour of Munich. Not only do Radius Tours offer the best bike tours in town, but they have a plethora of day trips to choose from too. So in summary, Radius Tours is one-stop shopping for all your sightseeing needs while in Munich.
What you can expect on your Munich City Bike Tour
2019 Cycle Cities Symposium in Munich. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
The three hour bike tour takes a relaxed pace to discover all the major highlights of this beautiful Bavarian City. Cycling on a network of well-connected bike paths, we saw the Hofbrauhaus, the English Garden,the famous beer garden near the Chinese Tower, Grand plazas, the cathedral, the old town and much more. We even saw people surfing on a river in the city- yes- surfing!! Take the tour and you will see for yourself.
Radius Tours office and bikes are conveniently located in the main train station of Munich. Be sure to say hi to Gaby and Daniel from me! Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
CYCLE CITIES IN EUROPE: ATHENS
In 2019, Athens hosted the Cycle Cities Symposium. And it was AMAZING! Athens by Bike Tours is not only the no. 1 bike tour operator in Athens. They can rightly claim to be the no. 1 cycle company in all of Greece! And once you meet the owner, Manos and his team, it is easy to understand why. They are super passionate about what they do. Athens by Bike guides are truly entertaining, extremely knowledgeable and just the best locals possible to give you an unforgettable experience cycling around this ancient city.
Athens 2020: Cycle Cities Symposium attendees just before setting off on the amazing bike tour. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
What you can expect on your Athens Bike Tour
During the tour, we cycled through picturesque neighbourhoods, then we biked up a hill to have THE most amazing view of the Acropolis. After a relaxing ride through the beautiful National Gardens, another highlight was stopping by the presidential palace where we saw the changing of the guard doing their very unique march. There was so much more we saw too, but I won’t spoil it for you! Once the bike tour was over, we received an extensive list of tips for more trips, restaurants and well, just about everything we needed to know for the rest of our stay!
Photo: Athens by Bike Tours
CYCLE CITIES IN EUROPE: bRUGGE
In February 2023, it was Cycle Cities veteran Jos’ turn from Quasimundo Bike Tours to hold the Symposium in beautiful Brugge, Belgium. And oh what fun we had! As an early arriver to the Symposium, I got to take the Ride to the Dutch border. Cycling through the Flemish countryside, along tree-lined canals was VERY cool. And Jos’ passion for storytelling and for his home area is palpable.
The next day, with the rest of the Symposium attendees, we split up into smaller groups to take the Brugge City Tour led by several members of Jos’ team.
Brugge 2023: Cycle Cities Symposium attendees at the Quasimundo bike shop. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
What you can expect on your Brugge City Bike Tour
Cycling over the cobblestoned streets, we discovered the history and grandeur of this ancient harbour city. During the 2,5 hour ride, we made stops at the Burg and Market Squares, the Church of Our Lady, the Beguinage and cycled out to the windmills. I was a bit cheeky and hopped from group to group along the way, so I can say with good authority that all of Jos‘ guides are fantastic!
Cycling around Bruge is like cycling in a fairy tale, really. It is such a quaint, colourful town full of history. Jos and his guides make exploring Brugge an unforgettable experience.
Cycling alongside one of the canals in beautiful Brugge. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
cycle cities in europe: antwerp
As you know, Belgium is not such a big country. Therefore, some of us took advantage to visit another CycleCities Belgian partner after the Symposium in Brugge. We jumped on the train and took the short ride to Antwerp. And guess what? We took a bike tour, of course, with our partners at Antwerp By Bike!
Enjoying the Antwerp Bike Tour despite the rain! Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
What you can expect on your Antwerp City Bike Tour
We were guided around the city and the port area with a very entertaining guide called Ari. Even though the weather was a bit rainy, it didn’t dampen his spirits and we all got a great introduction to amazing Antwerp. Some of the highlights were the cathedral, going inside the impressive Central Train Station and cycling to the Diamond Port House building- an architectural wonder. We also got lots more ‘tips for our trip’ by scanning a QR code back at their shop.
The impressive shop of Antwerp by Bike. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
And what about the Belgian beer?
And what would a trip to Belgium be without some Belgian beer? After cycling up a thirst on the bike tour, we enjoyed a fantastic beer tasting tour with Erwin from Taste Antwerpen. Before each stop we heard super interesting stories about the beer we were going to sample. Each beer was completely distinct, as were the historic bars and taverns where we imbibed. It was the perfect end to the day….and an even better start to the evening! 😉🍻 Highly recommended!!
The Cycle Cities partners enjoying the Beer Tour with Erwin from Taste Antwerpen. Photo: Martin Riewestahl from Berlin on Bike.
cycle cities in europe: last but not least- malaga!
Well, we haven’t hosted the Cycle Cities Symposium in Malaga- yet! But I´ll take this opportunity to do some self- promotion of my very own Cycle Cities company. 😉
The year 2023 marks the 15th anniversary of my business MALAGA BIKE TOURS & RENTALS. We were the pioneer bike company in Malaga way back then. Naturally, more have followed in our wake. However, we have constantly maintained what is probably the best on-line reputation for bike tours and bike rentals in Malaga. Growing from having just 16 bikes in 2008 to now just over 200, we are proud to still be offering such a great customer experience.
So, accept no less….we are your no. 1 stop for all your cycling needs while visiting the capital of the Costa del Sol. We are also renowned for offering the best travel tips of things to do after your cycling is done.
To make it easier to find us in the bike shop milieu of Málaga, we have recently renovated so now we literally stand out from the rest! 😉 So when you want to know:
Where is MALAGA BIKE?
Just look for THE GREEN BIKE SHOP! 💚🚲
See you there!! 🚲💚